02/09/2005 12:00AM

Sunland track report


Special Task Force will try to take another step toward a $100,000 payday in one of Friday's two trials to the West Texas Maturity at 400 yards here Friday. Special Task Force leads the second trial, race 5, as he attempts to qualify for the 400-yard finale, to be held Feb. 26.

The $50,000-added pot of the finale is nice enough to be sure, but Special Task Force, winner of the KHEY/Y-96 Handicap here a couple of weeks ago, is in line to qualify for a $100,000 bonus. The KHEY/Y-96 Handicap, the West Texas Maturity, and the MBNA New Mexico Regional Challenge Championship make up the $100,000 Good Time Stores Triple Crown Bonus. By virtue of his KHEY/Y-96 win, Special Task Force is the only horse who has a chance to earn the bonus.

Among his opposition in the trial is Push the Pace, who was second to Special Task Force in the KHEY/Y-96 and defeated him in last year's Grade 1 New Mexico Challenge Championship. Also in the field of nine are Special Alternative, who was second in the Grade 2 Sunland Fall Derby; Vital Jewel, who was second in the Sugarland at Sam Houston; and Katrina Duncan, who is twice stakes placed at Sam Houston and Louisiana Downs.

The first trial (race 4) is led by Sunland Fall Quarter Horse Derby winner The Road Boss and A Long Goodbye, who won eight races in 2004. A Long Goodbye was third behind Special Task Force and Push the Pace in the KHEY/Y-96, beaten about a length.

The final leg of the series, the $100,000 MBNA New Mexico Regional Challenge Championship, is to be run April 3.